Oconee Wine Club
This month I chose two wines from a winery called Simple Life. What a a perfect name for living here at Lake Oconee. Simple life is a brand owned by Don Sebastiani & Sons. The top quality of these wines really surprised me. They are both very well balanced and will pair with a wide variety of foods and would make great wines to serve at your Holiday parties.
The Simple Life Chardonnay opens with aromas of honeysuckle, wisteria blossom, and a touch of white peach. With its intriguing blend of Asian Pear and Stone Fruit flavors, this medium-bodied wine is fresh and creamy in the middle finishing crisp and bright, with lingering notes of red apple.
This wine displays exceptional balance. Eight months of aging in both French and American oak has provided structure and depth, while a touch of Viognier has lent a distinctive peach aroma and stone fruit flavors to this refreshing Chardonnay. Serve with grilled prawns and a fresh Summer salad. The bouquet of the 2011 Chardonnay is rich and fruit forward with orange marmalade, guava and apricot enhanced by toasted buttery notes. Ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavors of papaya, Lychee fruit, nectarine and lemon curd stimulate the palate rounded out with just a touch of oak. Medium-bodied in structure it has bright clean acidity and a nice crisp finish. Try pairing this wine with richer fare such as shellfish risotto or chicken Marsala.
This wine was crafted primarily from grapes sourced from the Lodi and Clarksburg AVA’s just south of Sacramento. The Lodi AVA is located in California’s Central Valley, at the northern edge of the San Joaquin Valley east of San Francisco Bay. Lodi’s Wine Country has a climate that is cooled by winds and fog from the San Francisco Bay. Because of a break in the Coastal Mountain Range to the west, Lodi wineries enjoy a more moderate climate than many other regions. Lodi’s terrain is composed of well-drained, mineral-rich soils. These soils have the rare ability to produce excellent quality grapes despite relatively high yields. The nearby Clarksburg AVA is an up and coming wine region located in California’s Sacramento Delta. Originally known for row crops like the Sugar Beet, the area was quickly discovered by grape growers attracted by a microclimate which closely mirrored that of nearby Napa Valley. The soils here are a combination of poorly-draining clay and rich loam, meaning vines experience nutrient-rich, yet sometimes arid conditions. During the growing season, warm days give way to cooling afternoon breezes from the San Francisco Bay, dropping temperatures down 30 to 40°F from their daytime highs. This mass of cool air allows wine grapes to retain more acidity than those grown in similarly warm regions. $ 13.99
The red for this month is the Simple Life Pinot Noir 2010. This wine opens with rich, earthy aromas of cherry, wild strawberry, and forest floor. The flavors—an appealing blend of strawberry rhubarb and red raspberries—are bright and fruit-forward, finishing with lingering notes of clove and cranberry. Moderately structured, the wine’s tannins and acidity are finely balanced to create a vibrant, juicy mouthfeel.
Crafted almost entirely from the Merwin Vineyard in Clarksburg, the Pinot Noir used for this wine is primarily derived from the Pommard clone, known for its pure dark fruit flavor. The addition of five percent Merlot from the nearby Wilson Vineyard, adds a touch of weight and structure to the finished wine.
Highly versatile, this wine may be served with anything from barbecue chicken wings and baked beans to stuffed mushrooms. This wine’s vibrant red color gives way to rich, earthy notes of cherry and pomegranate with forest floor nuances. Bright strawberry rhubarb and cranberry flavors are front and center giving way to a finish that hints of purple sage and cedar. Fresh acidity balanced by a hint of tannin creates an appealing, juicy mouthfeel. The moderate structure draws out the lingering finish and will pair nicely with a wide array of foods. A touch of Lodi Syrah is added for color and structure, and a touch of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir for increased complexity. Pulled pork sliders and a grilled corn salad would make a great match for this fresh Pinot Noir. Retail $13.99
Connoisseur Club Selections
Laird Chardonnay 2009 Cold Creek
This single vineyard Chardonnay is a blend of two of our favorite clones from our vineyard in Sonoma. This is our most popular Chardonnay; mainstream, yet exhibiting exotic and tropical fruits. If you are a Rombauer fan, you love this gem!
Production: 1500 cases
Vineyard: 100% Cold Creek Ranch
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Winemaking Style: 100% malolactic fermentation, 10 months in French oak, 55% new barrels
This smooth and rich Chardonnay exhibits a color of gold and aromas of apples, pears and toast. Melon notes, along with pineapple, ripe apples, vanilla and brown sugar fill out a full, juicy palate. Hints of minerality and limestone linger on the finish. Retail $ 29.99
2010 Thea’s Selection Pinot noir Willamette Valley – 90 Rated by Tanzer!
Thea’s Selection is the measuring stick of our success as growers and winemakers. A blend from blocks in each of our vineyards, Thea’s expresses the vintage, our intentions and our efforts perhaps more than any other. The earthy nose of the 2010 Thea’s tends towards plum and black cherry rather than darker fruits, while expressing fennel and spice in a lovely, delicate way. The wine’s medium body centers around intense raspberry, black cherry and resonant spice that leads to a long, vibrant finish. We are pleased with the textural silk and finesse of this wine and think it will be one of the most ageworthy Thea’s in a number of vintages. Retail $29.99